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St. Catherine of Siena (1347–1380 AD): one of the earliest historic cases of altered gustatory perception in anorexia mirabilis


Galassi, Francesco M; Bender, Nicole; Habicht, Michael E; Armocida, Emanuele; Toscano, Fabrizio; Menassa, David A; Cerri, Matteo (2018). St. Catherine of Siena (1347–1380 AD): one of the earliest historic cases of altered gustatory perception in anorexia mirabilis. Neurological Sciences, 39(5):939-940.

Abstract

St. Catherine of Siena suffered from an extreme form of holy fasting, a condition classified as anorexia mirabilis (also known as inedia prodigiosa). Historical and medical scholarships alike have drawn a comparison between this primaeval type of anorexia with a relatively common form of eating disorder among young women in the modern world, anorexia nervosa. St. Catherine's condition was characterised by a disgust for sweet taste, a condition also described in anorexia nervosa, and characterised by specific neurophysiological changes in the brain. St. Catherine's case may be considered one of the oldest veritable descriptions of altered gustation (dysgeusia). Moreover, a more compelling neurophysiological similarity between anorexia mirabilis and anorexia nervosa may be proposed.

Abstract

St. Catherine of Siena suffered from an extreme form of holy fasting, a condition classified as anorexia mirabilis (also known as inedia prodigiosa). Historical and medical scholarships alike have drawn a comparison between this primaeval type of anorexia with a relatively common form of eating disorder among young women in the modern world, anorexia nervosa. St. Catherine's condition was characterised by a disgust for sweet taste, a condition also described in anorexia nervosa, and characterised by specific neurophysiological changes in the brain. St. Catherine's case may be considered one of the oldest veritable descriptions of altered gustation (dysgeusia). Moreover, a more compelling neurophysiological similarity between anorexia mirabilis and anorexia nervosa may be proposed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:12 Mar 2018 19:54
Last Modified:02 May 2018 01:03
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1590-1874
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10072-018-3285-6
PubMed ID:29470675

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